Integrated Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing strategy: an integrated approach to online marketing

Digital channel integration is a common marketing buzzphrase, but few businesses genuinely understand what it means and why it is so important.

Get it right and you can add a lot of power to your marketing campaigns, create more brand awareness, sell more products and services and get a better return on investment.

Here we look at how an integrated digital marketing strategy works and why you need to achieve it for your business.

Digital Marketing-Integration

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Why is digital channel integration important?

Digital channel integration has some important benefits:

  • It helps you build brand awareness.
  • It creates greater authenticity and promotes trust in your brand.
  • It allows you to be seen in more places and by more people.

It should, if you get your strategy right, not only help build brand loyalty but deliver a much better return on investment for your marketing budget.

As a business, getting your message out to customers is critical. The trouble is that those same customers use a wide range of different digital channels to obtain information including social media, video, websites and search engines to name just a few. That doesn’t even take into account more traditional approaches such as promotional gifts, print marketing and the like.

Put simply, an integrated digital marketing strategy is an approach that ensures the same tactics are used across all your channels. This means that your customers get the same messages and same branding, for instance, whether they are on Instagram or Snapchat or seeing your content on your website or YouTube.

Of course, each channel has its vagaries and blindly duplicating content across them is not the best option even if we are looking for a holistic approach. For example, a social media platform like Instagram is almost entirely visual while your website may have a host of written content. Your integration needs to take this into account to maximise the impact.


The important role of customer data

At the heart of an effective integrated digital marketing strategy is data. The more you understand your customers and how they interact with your brand (or how they would ideally like to), the more you can tailor marketing campaigns to get high-quality results.

Marketing strategists also talk a lot about the sales funnel. This is a visual representation of where your customer is likely to be in the buying stage (for example, they’ve got a problem, they’re looking for solutions, they’ve seen your product or service and it fits their needs).

It’s called a funnel because it narrows towards the end as you get to the customers who are highly likely to buy. Again, customer data plays a vital role in understanding where people are, what messages they are likely to respond to and the best strategies and channels to ease them along the funnel to the desired outcome.

A coherent data collection strategy means that you have a greater understanding of your customers but it also saves you money by allowing you to focus on the strategies and channels that work. In essence, customer data is the foundation on which your digital marketing integration is built and should be front and centre of your strategy.

How to integrate digital channels?

The key to integration is ditching the focus on individual channels and taking a more holistic approach. This can be difficult for businesses to get a handle on, but it makes a huge difference.

Let’s say you’re running a competition on Instagram to help promote your business. Don’t see it as an Instagram contest in isolation – look at it as a brand contest that is just being hosted on Instagram. Now, look at how you are promoting the contest on your other channels to get more people involved.

Campaigns that have multiple digital touchpoints tend to outperform those that just use one channel. Ideally, you need to have coherence across your channels. As much as possible, the experience that someone has on Twitter should compare to the one someone else is having on YouTube.

It’s important to understand that nowadays customers are unlikely to have a linear path to buying your product or service before they reach the narrow end of the sales funnel and decide to buy. This can make campaigns complex but that’s where the data collection comes in and helps you streamline your coverage so that it has the biggest impact on the marketing budget that you have. It helps you create an integration roadmap that is powerful and repeatable and which, if needed, can be expanded.

How to integrate digital marketing into the wider marketing mix

For some businesses, digital marketing integration with traditional marketing is also a vital part of the process and it’s something that is all too often forgotten about.

While the line between digital and traditional is so blurred nowadays that they can almost be considered the same thing, you need to take into account how your integrated strategy is going to play out with the rest of your mix.

Traditional marketing can include everything from TV and radio to print media and promotional gifts. The messages you create online also need to resonate with the audience that is exposed to these marketing strategies. That means using similar tag lines, colours and branding and not going off-message just because you’re dealing with a different medium.

Additionally, ensuring you are searchable online is important to maximise performance of your above the line advertising to help potential customers find you more easily after seeing your Out of Home or TV adverts, for example.

Digital marketing strategy: an integrated approach to online marketing – what next?

Bringing everything together in one coherent strategy is complicated but it’s also driven by the data. The first step is ensuring that you have this customer information at your fingertips and know what to do with it.

Without it you’ll just be fishing in the dark, hoping to catch someone and trap them in your sales funnel.

The complexity of integrated marketing comes from the fact that customers nowadays have multiple touchpoints, and your messaging has to be tailored to these possibilities to achieve the best results. Where and when your customers engage with your business can include everything from social media, TV advertising and online searches to company events and peer referrals.

The challenge is how you get all these disparate avenues meeting at the sales point and converting people to loyal customers. Digital marketing integration is a powerful tool that enables you to achieve this with a higher success rate and better return on investment.

Want to find out more?

We’re one of the leading marketing integration teams in the UK and we’ve worked with businesses of all sizes and in different sectors. It’s time to supercharge your marketing strategy and build in success for the future.

Book a free strategy consultation with us today to find out more.


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